It’s been a busy week, with lots of extra hours at work and loads happening at the allotment. But of course I found time for yarn & reading (though not as much as I’d like!)
What I’m reading: The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
People have been recommending this book for years. I finally remembered to pick up a copy at work last week, but I’m not very far in yet. So far I am really enjoying it. Thursday Next seems like an awesome woman you wouldn’t want to mess with, in a good way. I also think it’s a good sign if a book’s opening sentence makes you laugh!
What I’m making: embroidered tea towels
I’m still working on my tea cozy, but I have a wedding to go to on Saturday, so these tea towels have taken priority. I discovered how much I enjoy embroidery when I was making bookmarks as wedding favours and I now have a tendency to give embroidered things for wedding presents. I hope my friends like that!
Linking with Ginny’s Yarn-Along.
I’m sounding like a broken record now, but I’m still reading Sew Your Own and knitting my lace jumper. Unfortunately I let someone borrow my camera or I could show you how much progress I’ve made on the jumper. Tomorrow I should be able to start decreasing for the shoulders in the back. Given I’ve just been knitting on the train, I am pretty happy with that as progress. On the other hand, I am about to abandon Sew Your Own, because unfortunately reading it is feeling like a chore at the moment.
Do you ever quit books halfway through, or do you feel like persevering is worth it?
Work is still very busy, and R & I currently have 500+ items listed on eBay, so this week taking time to read/knit is both important and difficult. Luckily I have managed to do a little of both on the train. Yesterday I finished The Virtues of the Table, and I’m happy to say that I can recommend it. While the logic (from my non-trained perspective) isn’t infallible in a few of the chapters, overall it presents a balanced view of lots of the issues around food & eating – organic, GMO, solitary eating, balanced diets, weight loss, etc – by linking them to virtues Baggini feels people should exhibit – for example, justice, compassion, conviviality, amongst others. While Baggini draws his own conclusions, he generally presents arguments on both sides, with evidence, so you could theoretically draw your own. Plus, I love that it has both a footnotes/references section and a bibliography. Referencing for the win!
What I’m knitting: Lacy jumper by Alison Robson
I’ve had my eye on this pattern for well over a year. It’s in Knitting issue 96 (December 2011), which I found in a charity shop for 50p. I’m excited to finally be using it. The Rowan fine lace yarn I bought recently seemed perfect for it. However, the pattern uses 4-ply while my yarn is 2 ply, which means I’m having to swatch to make sure I still manage to get the right gauge/tension. The needles in the picture are 2.5 mm and are still too big. Using teeny tiny needles means this project will be a long-term one, and I will probably end up taking a break from it at some point. I still think it will be worth it, because I think this sweater is just stunning. As for using such a dramatically different yarn? Well, I think it’ll look nice, plus there was also a review of Rowan Fine Lace in the same magazine, so I think it’s meant to be. 😉
What I’m reading: Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett
This is my bedtime reading, because what better way to calm down at the end of the day than with a bit of humor? Pratchett’s one of my favourite authors, too, so I read pretty much any books by him.
What are you reading or knitting? Do you prefer long-term or short-term projects, or a bit of both like me?
This week’s entry is going to be quick and brief. R and I are selling a ton of stuff on eBay to raise money toward a house deposit, so the next couple of weeks are going to involve a lot of typing and addressing post. I’ll try to post over the weekend as usual, but Pastry & Purls will need to take a bit of a backseat while I focus on this.
What I’m reading: The Virtues of the Table: How to Eat & Think, by Julian Baggini
Yes, this is a book about the philosophy of food, written by a philosoher. Man, that sounds pretentious! This book wasn’t a particularly deliberate choice – I spotted the spine in the library and was intrigued. When I looked at the cover, I realised that I’d seen Baggini give an introduction to a film in Bristol a few years ago. He was a good speaker, and it turns out he is also a good writer. I’m not very far into this book. However, I’m already impressed by the clarity of the writing and the way he has integrated research into it. I am really not a lover of philosophy generally speaking, so I also appreciate the way he firmly ties philosophical theory to practical application (in relation to food, of course). Fingers crossed it stays good all the way through.
What I’m knitting: —
I’m cheating by doing a yarn-along, I guess, because I’m actually between projects. I sewed up my hat today and am still deciding on my next project. There’s a lace jumper I’ve had my eye on for a few years now, and I think it might finally be time to attempt it.
This week’s reading and knitting are quite relaxed. Work’s pretty full-on at the moment, so I just want to work on quick projects and escape a bit with my books.
I’m reading: The Wind in the Willows
I don’t think I read The Wind in the Willows as I child. I suppose I may have, but I certainly don’t remember it. Shocking! I spotted it on the shelf at the local Oxfam bookshop where I volunteer & borrowed it to decide if I want to buy it (that’s one of the perks of being a volunteer!). Days are getting longer, and this makes a nice read on the train in the dusky light. Rat & Mole have just met Mr Badger, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next!
I’m knitting: a hat
A colleague gave me about 8 balls of gorgeous bulky Icelandic wool several months ago, but I hadn’t used any of it until now. Though I like the look of bulky yarn, I rarely use it. However, as I was in the mood for something quick, this seemed like the right time to get started. I chose to start with the red, and am going to make this herringbone hat. You can’t go wrong with a red hat, can you?
Don’t forget to visit Ginny’s page for more literary and fibrous joy. 🙂
The astute among you will have noticed that I didn’t do an In-between Tuesday post yesterday. This was actually deliberate, as I can now officially announce it’s the shortest-lived blog feature ever! I hadn’t thought it through properly and found I really didn’t enjoy writing it. What I really wanted to do was write about knitting and reading. Happily, I’m not the only one. Ginny started the yarn-along on a Wednesday as a space to share what she (and others) are reading and knitting. Perfect! It can be really nice to do things as part of a community, so I thought I’d join in and abandon the In-between Tuesday. This week’s entry is still on a train. It’s been so chilly that I’ve been treating myself to a flask of tea on the train.
I’m reading: The Miniaturist, Jessie Burton
This was the hot book of last year. I happily spotted it on the shelf at the library and grabbed it before someone else could. While I enjoyed it, I am still not quite sure whether it lived up to the hype for me. I didn’t get really absorbed until about 1/3 of the way in. All in all, I’m glad I borrowed it rather than buying it, but I can still see myself rereading it. I would recommend it to you, as well, if you can find a copy.
I’m knitting: hearts Well, Valentine’s Day is coming up. These hearts aren’t actually for Valentine’s Day, though, they’re for a top-secret project which involves libraries. 🙂 I must admit I am not much of an object-knitter; I much prefer garments, so these aren’t the most enjoyable knit for me. I am looking forward to this project, though so I know it’ll be worth it in the end. Part of the reason this is such a brief post is that I want to get as many made as possible before the 5th, when the project needs to be finished.